However much you love your dog, sharing your home with one can be somewhat akin to sharing a home with a messy child! Even with the best will in the world, it is still easy to inadvertently let your dog and his things take over your whole home, and it can seem like a daunting task to claw back some semblance of control! If you find that your house is taking on a distinct “essence of canine” in several different ways and are wondering if you have any hope of getting things a little bit more under control, do not despair. Read on for tips and advice on resolving the five most common household annoyances that can come about when living with a dog!
1. Dog hair in the carpet
One of the most obvious signs of a dog-loving household is the presence of dog fur! While some dogs are of course hairier than others, and some dogs moult more than most, nevertheless, all dog owning households will at some point need to address the issue of dealing with dog hair in the carpet or furniture.
If you have a lot of soft furnishings or carpeted floors, this can prove a challenge as dog hair soon becomes woven into the pile of the carpet, making it hard to remove.
- Consider buying a stiff brush or even a plastic rake and raking the carpet over before hovering.
- All hoovers are not created equal; some vacuum cleaners are especially designed to deal with dog hair, and are much more effective at drawing hair out of the carpet than others.
- Brush and groom your dog regularly to minimise the amount of hair that they shed, and consider having them clipped if their coat is particularly long or thick.
2. Toys everywhere
Most dogs have an impressive selection of toys, and sometimes their most cherished possessions will end up being the scruffiest, oldest toys that drop stuffing everywhere and make even more of a mess than normal!
To avoid tripping hazards and the general feeling that your dog has commandeered every room of your home, set a few simple rules for your dog’s toys; and stick to them!
- Have a thorough clear out of your dog’s toys, and throw away any that are ruined or broken and give away any that your dog simply does not play with any more.
- Assign a toy box to your dog (or a couple of them in different rooms) and be strict about replacing the toys in the box at least once a day.
- Turn clear up time into a game for your dog by teaching them to tidy up on command, by collecting up their toys and putting them back into their box.
- Narrow down your in-use toy collection to three to five items at a maximum to have out in the home at any one time, and pack the others away out of sight until you choose to swap and change them over later on.
3. Dirty furniture
Whether your dog is allowed onto the human furniture or has a chair or bed of his own, over time this will usually become infused with dog hair, dirt that your dog tracks in, and that unique canine smell!
- Protect the furniture your dog uses with blankets and other washable items that can be cleaned or replaced regularly.
- When it comes time to replace your furniture, consider buying leather or artificial leather seating sets, as this is easier to keep clean than fabric.
- Consider using plastic sheeting on furniture underneath of the soft covers, to protect against marks and dirt.
- Make sure that you are firm with your dog about what furniture he is not allowed on, and do not change the rules on an ongoing basis as this will confuse your dog.
4. Smells and stains
Getting rid of the general smell of dog from the house, as well as the odd mystery stain, can be problematic.
- First of all, remember that if your dog smells bad the chances are that your home will smell rather doggy as well. Ensure that your dog is bathed and groomed often enough to keep smells at bay.
- Wash your dog’s bedding and any other soft furnishings regularly to avoid them taking on a canine aroma.
- Use a neutralising air freshener that works to counteract organic smells, rather than one that simply masks them.
- Make sure your home gets enough fresh air and ventilation.
- Use an enzymatic stain remover to deal with organic matter, such as blood, faeces or urine, as these work to break down the compounds that cause stains rather than just removing the surface mess.
- Remember to clean up any spills, marks or stains as quickly as possible to maximise your chances of success.
5. Dirty hallway floors
You are probably only too well aware of the mess that a set of muddy paws can make on your hard flooring, be that lino, tiles or wood. Avoid having to spend a significant amount of time every day washing the floor by following these tips to nip the problem in the bud!
- Try to have a bucket or a tap that supplies warm water on hand outside of the door to wash the worst of the mess off your dog before they come back in.
- Keep a couple of old towels within easy reach of the door to dry or wipe off your dog when needed.
- Consider placing matting or protective plastic in entrances or hallways to protect the most heavily trafficked areas from frequent mess and mud.
- Train your dog! Teach them to wait when you get into the lobby until they are told that they can go into the rest of the house. This will give you the chance to check your dog over and clean them up somewhat if they have gotten into a mess while out!